Words: Can Lift Up or Tear Down (Part 1)

This year will be 12 years since the Lord broke the Spirit of Low Self-Esteem and Inferiority off of my life. I carried those spirits around with me for 26 years of my life before God intervened and released me from them. Life has been so different after being set free from low-self esteem, low-self worth and inferiority.


You see my problem began back when I was a child growing up in the Caribbean. I was the only dark-skinned girl on my father’s side of the family. I was often teased because of my dark-complected skin. I remember being called ugly and tar baby by family members. I always felt very ashamed and ugly because of this. I thought those feelings would go away as I got older and became an adult. However, they didn’t. They only increased.

I would always make sure that I was well dressed, well-groomed and my hair was always well-styled and my face well-made up. Whenever I was well dressed, well-coiffed and well made up I always felt good about myself. I remember feeling that I always had to be well put together, if I wasn’t I felt extremely ugly. I also liked the attention I would get back then. I hid my pain and low-self esteem and low self worth under some of the nicest clothes, fanciest hairstyles and Flori Roberts or Fashion Fair make up, powder and blush (my favorite) at the time.


I remember when I was about 9 or 10 years old. I was in my bedroom when I heard one of my aunt’s and uncle’s having a conversation. They were comparing their nieces and nephews. I remembered when they got to one of my cousins that is a year older than myself. I remembered them saying, “Oh, she is going to grow up to be such a beautiful young woman when she gets older.”

I was up next. I was so excited to hear how I was also going to grow up to be a beautiful young woman as well. I stood behind the door as I was listening to the conversation. I stood there behind the door as I anxiously awaited to hear the words that I too was going to grow up and be a beautiful young woman.

Even though this conversation took place many years ago. Over 30 years to be exact. I remember every single word like it was yesterday. My aunt said, “What about Arlena?” My uncle responded, “Oh God! She’s black and ugly.” They both burst out laughing along with other who were also present listening to the conversation. I stood behind the door with my heart and self worth shattered to pieces. I will never forget the way I felt. I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach…by my very own.

The Spirit of low self-esteem, low self-worth and inferiority kicked in. I carried that around with me for decades. I became even more introverted than I already was to begin with. I always pushed people away because I thought maybe they too thought I was black and ugly and would not want anything to do with me. After all, my family thought I was black and ugly, so therefore other people had to feel the same way. I became difficult to deal with because of the scars that were set in motion by the enemy of my soul through the words that had been spoken ignorantly over me at the particular time and place of my life.

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